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Tue, 12.30.1856

Oliver Lewis, Horse Jockey born

Oliver Lewis

*The birth of Oliver Lewis is celebrated on this date in 1856.  He was a Black horse jockey in thoroughbred racing.

Lewis was born in Fayette County, Kentucky.  On May 17, 1875, at 19, Lewis won the very first Kentucky Derby aboard Aristides. The pair won by two reported lengths, setting a new American record time for a mile-and-a-half race. Lewis and Aristides took second place in the Belmont Stakes, now the third race of the U.S. Triple Crown series. 

After his death in 1924, he was buried in Benevolent Society No. 2 Cemetery, now known as African Cemetery No. 2.  On September 8, 2010, the Newtown Pike Extension in Lexington, Kentucky, was named Oliver Lewis Way in honor of Lewis’s historic accomplishments. 

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